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SABIC's CEO reinforces the importance of decarbonising the chemical industry

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The GCC chemical industry must refocus business and operating models to deliver on decarbonisation and circularity goals and overcome fundamental structural challenges. This was the message delivered by Yousef A. Al-Benyan, Vice Chairman and CEO of SABIC, and Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), as he addressed the 2nd edition of the GPCA Leaders’ Forum in Dubai, UAE.

Held under the theme 'Breaking New Ground in 2022: The regional industry in transformation', the Forum convened regional and global chemical industry leaders to engage, discuss the latest industry trends, and forge future business partnerships.

During his remarks, Mr. Al-Benyan acknowledged the wide-ranging implications, urgency, and impact on shareholder value of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions utilising a circular carbon economy platform.

He said, “For GCC chemical companies, achieving the decarbonisation objective is even more critical than for other manufacturing sectors of the economy, as the chemical industry itself is a decarbonisation tool for national oil companies. We have to think about this challenge much more strategically with a laser-sharp focus.”

Mr Al-Benyan identified three priority transformation areas for the chemical industry: partnerships and collaborations; agility; and new business and operating models.

“The key question is how GCC companies can address these priorities. The answer is by focusing on talent and technology. We have to take a global approach to attract and retain top talent and, at the same time, we must create a sustainable source of competitive talent at home.”

He added, “As far as technology is concerned, we have to admit that GCC chemical companies are largely technology users. Going forward, technology will create a greater divide between technology-developers and technology-users as the resource advantage erodes.”

The event follows the inaugural GPCA Leaders Forum held in 2021, which saw regional leaders share their learnings from the pandemic, deliver a unified message of resilience, and re-emerge ready to face future challenges.

SABIC unveiled its Carbon Neutrality Roadmap in 2021, setting out a strategy to decarbonise its operations by 2050, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The roadmap identifies five pathways to decarbonisation: reliability, energy efficiency and improvements; renewable energy; electrification; carbon capture; and green/blue hydrogen.

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